But unlike the day before, a loss sent teams packing. After the passes started being lofted at 3 p.m., teams began departing and fittingly the last two standing were Dutchtown and Stockbridge.
With less than a minute left in the game, K’Lin Epps completed the game-tying touchdown pass to Malik Barkley. Then to prevent overtime, Epps found Christian Palmer in the end zone, securing a 14-13 victory and starting the celebration.
“Our kids have been working hard all summer,” Dutchtown football coach Mark Myers said. “This is a dedication to them and my staff. This is just commitment from my players. They bought into the summer program, came out, worked hard and they wanted it. That is what I liked the most.”
To reach the title game, the Bulldogs beat Griffin and Stockbridge knocked off Lovejoy.
“The defense really impressed me,” Myers said. “Even though I’ve been an offensive guy for most of my life, I know that defense wins championships and I really take pride in making sure my defense plays well.”
Last season, Myers was the offensive coordinator at Henry County and will make his head coaching debut at Dutchtown this season.
Locust Grove, Luella, Henry County, Eagle’s Landing, Spalding, Lithia Springs, Mt. Zion, Drew, Alcovy and Mundy’s Mill also participated in the seventh annual tournament.
“You can’t beat coming out here and competing,” Myers said. “This is our first tournament of the summer and we just wanted to make sure that guys came out and competed. We just wanted to get better. This is something that we look back at on film and say ‘hey we weren’t very strong in this area’ but now we can go and correct it before the summer is out.”